Page:Biagi - The Centaurians.djvu/79

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The Centaurians

joining cars were not damaged, the snow having blown up against, and piled high, protecting them almost entirely, but the wind now carried the snow over and down the sides, causing Saxe. to shout: "Hustle, boys, hustle! we'll be buried alive!"

The heaters were filled and fires started; in a short time the waste pipes were letting off streams of steam. We shoveled a bank nearly twelve feet high, which protected us some from the wind, but it flung the snow upon us faster than we could work, and from steam to shovel we labored for our lives against odds for eight long, weary hours. But the storm spent itself, ceased as suddenly as it came, calmed beneath the freezing temperature that descended. The snow iced, our labor was over and we sought shelter, food and rest.

Saunders advised early departure, and two hours later we started. The Propellier made a rush up the steep embankment; midway she seemed to lose speed, but suddenly cleared the remaining distance at a bound. The dense atmosphere had lifted and plain upon plain of snow with wind-tossed mounds and hills met our vision, and over it all a crescent moon glistened mystically. The search-light flared and with a shrill blast we speeded northward. Midnight we had reached and traveled beyond the altitude scientists claim the earth's pivot is located. Towards morning a heavy mist fell upon us, a dark, silent, deadly mist, which sent a chill to our bones. I could not shake off the dull feeling of dread that came over me. The Propellier glided smoothly, swiftly onward, taking us farther into